Early Years (0-4 years)

Give your child the best start by taking time everyday to play and be active with them.  Physical activity is important for healthy growth and development.  You are their best role model.

For infants less than one year of age, the guidelines recommend they spend time several times a day on the floor with interactive play.  Interactive play encourages your infant to reach and grasp for objects.  It also gives tummy time that is good for strengthening their back, shoulders and head muscles.  Having strong back and head muscles helps them to hold their head up, turn it from side to side and learn to rollover and crawl.

As your infant grows and becomes a toddler (1-2 years) and a preschooler (3-4 years), they need to have a total of 180 minutes of physical activity throughout the day at any intensity.  Provide a variety of activities that help to develop movement skills such as:

  • crawling
  • walking
  • running
  • dancing
  • climbing

Spend time doing these activities in different places that are safe for them to play and explore.  Supervise your child and allow them to explore the outdoors in the backyard (unstructured play) or take them to a safe playground (structured play).  Make your home a safe place to play with toys that involve physical activity.

By 5 years of age, your child should be having at least 60 minutes a day of energetic activities such as: hopping, skipping, and jumping.  Having your child involved in sport activities that include these movements will help with their development skills.

To learn more about the Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines, go to www.csep.ca/guidelines